Missing the point

As an outside with decided views it seems to me that in JOLLYBLOGGER: Do [North] American Christians too easily assume their surrounding culture is Christian? David completely misses the point of the original article: Toward Hope: Rodney Clapp asks Eugene Peterson a Question….

David, tries to divide the US (and yes there do seem to be two Americas, one blue and one red) and the goes on to claim that one part of America is Christian and that this:

Do [North] American Christians too easily assume their surrounding culture is Christian?

We do.  It is useful to listen to people who come into our culture
from other cultures, to pay attention to what they hear and what they
see.  In my experience, they don’t see a Christian land.  If you listen
to a Solzhenitsyn or Bishop Tutu,
or university students from Africa or South America, they don’t see a
Christian land.  They see something almost the reverse of a Christian

does not apply to just one half of America.

Maybe I am not reading David properly, but it appears to me that he believes that this description only applies to the blue America and that the other part, as the Christian remnant had better get moving. If I have understood David right then I for one wish to make it clear that I do not accept this view. I think Eugene Peterson’s points are far more widely valid than that. I totally reject the republican American premise that to be Christian is to be republican.

Mind you I also completely accept that many of Eugene Peterson’s claims can be raised against us in the UK.

5 thoughts on “Missing the point

  1. sally

    Amen Dave- well said- and if you are reading it wrong I am right there with you. I suspect the problem is that we tend to see our own view point as the correct one and don’t like to be challenged.

  2. David Wayne

    Dave – the words you quoted there are not mine, they are Peterson’s.
    And I’m not quite sure I follow your objection here. It seems to me that all Peterson is saying here is that when non-Americans come to America, they don’t see a Christian land. He’s not putting that forward as his own opinion, he is simply stating what he has heard non-Americans say about America, that they don’t see it as a Christian land.
    There was nothing in the quote about blue America or republicans, just American in general.

  3. PamBG

    David Wayne: For me, what is under discussion here is why is that so.
    I agree wholeheartedly with Eugene Peterson – he’s one of my favourite Christian writers and theologians. Yet, I presume that you think that those Christians who are not inerrantist complimentarian Christians are part of the problem of making the West appear “unChristian”. (I’m totally open to being told that this presumption is wrong and I’d be happy to hear that.)
    I always find it interesting that “both sides” of Christianity can read particular theologians – like Petersen or Tom Wright – yet claim that their theologies are very far apart. Wouldn’t the fact that – for example – you and I like Petersen suggest that maybe we ought to listen to each other?
    I find it frustrating when people launch vague attacks and then don’t elaborate on what it is that they don’t like.

  4. Dave Warnock

    It was the combination of quotes/points that you chose that lead me to the belief that you thought the Peterson quote applied to blue areas of the US (only or principally).


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